One of this year's biggest pre-E3 announcements is LucasArts' mature-themed Star wars 1313. We got a chance to see the game in action behind closed doors, and while we may have been excited to see the reveal before, we're now completely salivating at the idea of seeing and hearing more about 1313 in coming months.
Star Wars 1313, if you haven't been keeping up, is a new game franchise that moves away from all things Force-related. Instead, LucasArts wants to put players in the other fan fantasy: play as a badass bounty hunter. The game is still pretty early in development, but based on the PC demo we sat through, it is also by far the most beautiful title at this year's E3.
A brief tech demo introducing 1313's motion capture technology showed us exactly how the game's multi-studio animators and devs are creating this hyper-real, ultra fluid experience. For this project, LucasArts is actually working with a number of animation studios within the Lucasfilm family, and the result is absolutely breathtaking. There every detail on an actor's face and every little gesture is transferred to a character in the game world; planet-wide shots of Coruscant parallel the movies in terms of visual quality. Most impressive is the demo's framerate, which hovered around a modest 30 fps, and all footage seen was completely pre-rendered.
Yet gameplay looks smooth. Our session saw the bounty hunter on a job with a more experienced fellow, and the two wind up attacked by what might be competitors during a transfer for their Trandoshan captive. After a brief blasterfight, the duo end up boarding the enemy ship as both vehicles plummet toward the planet's urbanized core.
Creative director Dominic Robilliard took care to mention that the game contains no quick time events, stating quite confidently, "You'll never see anything in a cutscene that you'd rather play."
Some of that was previewed in the demo, when our bounty hunter scales the broken wing of a ship in flames. This entire sequence of dispatching enemy boarders and then navigating the ship could have been a pretty cool cutscene, but it's instead a playable moment that completely involves the player.
Another major point of Star Wars 1313 is the focus on mature content. LucasArts refers to the game as their first truly mature Star Wars title, which fits the Level 1313 locale. Dark or disturbing themes will arise, and players will be faced with so many shades of gray.
So who is our mystery bounty hunter? Well, the devs are still holding back on that particular reveal. The fellow in the demo (and these screenshots) is actually a placeholder, what they call a "test character." The real protagonist remains a big fat question mark at this point, and speculations continue to run wild.
Is 1313 going to be a Boba Fett game? Hard to say at this point, but whoever he (Or she?) ends up being, we know for certain it is the best looking game we've seen at E3.